Becoming Best in Class in Recruiting Top University Talent


As Labor Days approaches and summer comes to a close, students of all ages are returning back to school. At the same time, executives are simultaneously going to work in finding the best ways to recruit top university talent.

Colleges and universities are prime resources for companies to find the best and brightest for recruitment. Despite this, determining the best ways to reach out to talented university students is an extremely difficult challenge. Outreach programs must often be evaluated and restructured to best match the needs and desires of prospective employees.

From our research, we found the top 3 most effective methods for building a company’s talent pool. Here’s a countdown of the ranked order of ways to attract top talent:

     3. Starting Pay & Benefits – As expected, managers ranked salary third and benefits fourth in effectiveness for recruiting the best talent.

     2. Company Brand University students are often drawn to career fairs and other on-campus events when they know that a certain company will be there. Brand building is a key function of university recruiting websites, and was indicated as one of the most effective methods for attracting top talent.

     1. Co-op & Intern Programs Believe it or not, benchmarked companies ranked co-op and intern programs as more important than salary, benefits or company brand in attracting top talent. These programs give students and companies a chance to try each other out before any commitments are made. Participants ranked these programs as one of the most reliable predictors of job success. University recruiters are also able to “recruit once and hire twice.”

Other top ways to attract the best students include: rotational programs, partnering with student groups, sponsoring campus events, dynamic websites, and hosting events at your company.

One of the key lessons learned that benchmarked participants mentioned was to maintain relations with students. Building strong lasting relationships with students throughout their internships and beyond will help to build a network of top future recruiters from the line. If your internship program is successful, candidates will go back to school and can act as ambassadors for your organization. When it comes to college audiences, listening to a fellow student is much more meaningful than listening to an organization.

While recruiting for top talent can be a challenge, leaders can increase their exposure to & the interest of top talent by becoming more involved with universities. Building strong relationships with interns even after they have completed an internship program is a great way to drive the best students back to your company.

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